human being, Intelligence, natural, spiritual health, Uncategorized

Spiritual Health

The other day, while talking with Frank, my friend in Franconia (yes, it’s true!), I mentioned the term “spiritual fitness”. I realised immediately that I had never used this phrase before. As it happens, it has helped me rewrite the chapter on spiritual intelligence in the new edition of full Spectrum Intelligence.

It is a comprehensive rewrite. I decided to redefine spiritual intelligence, and base the new definition on the “intelligence process”. As you will know, if you have read the original edition of the book, this is the process through which all our actions seem to go through. It has three stages – awareness, understanding, response. First, we become aware of something, then we understand what it is (or we don’t), and then we respond appropriately. The higher the quality of our awareness, our understanding, and our response, the more intelligent we are likely to be. If we want to be more intelligent, we should work on the quality of these three stages.

In any event, I redefined spiritual intelligence as “the ability to go beyond normal awareness, normal understanding, and normal responses”. Much of the chapter is devoted to explaining what this means, and how to do it.

I have also added short sections on spiritual health, spiritual fitness, spiritual nutrition, and spiritual wealth. What follows here is simply a concise summary of these concepts.

I have long thought of “health” as our natural state. It is how we are, naturally, before anything interferes with, or damages that state. We call the negative consequences of any deviation from our natural state “illness” and “disease”. As you can imagine, there are many ways we can deviate. They include poor diet, pollution, lack of exercise, excess (e.g. alcohol), accident, stress in all its many forms, as well as all the psychosomatic illnesses caused by damaging emotional patterns and behaviours. The list is very long, and the modern world knows all of them only too well.

This suggests that spiritual health is our natural state, spiritually. This is a complex topic, and I do not want to say much about it here (read the new book for details), except to suggest that we all recognise spiritually healthy people when we meet them. They are outstanding in some significant ways. And we can be reasonably sure that they have been getting good, regular spiritual nutrition. This comes in many forms. In my own case, it takes the form of a regular intake of beauty, kindness, silence, good music, good poetry, as well the physical components of spiritual nutrition, such as Qigong.

There is more. Spiritual health is not the same as spiritual fitness, but the two do go well together. Just as physical fitness means that your body is in good shape, especially your heart, lungs and muscles, spiritual fitness is its equivalent. It means that your “spiritual organs” and your “spiritual muscles” are in good shape, and fit for purpose – the purpose no doubt being that you will express your fully and well in the world. I will leave you to think about what all this means.

I cannot end this without saying a few words about spiritual wealth. If material wealth is having your basic material needs met (see Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs), then spiritual wealth is having your basic spiritual needs met. I count myself lucky. Living here in the Pyrenees with Ana, I am wealthy in all senses. However, I do need to attend to both my spiritual fitness and my physical fitness!

christhomson1000@gmail.com

 

 

 

consciousness, human being, Intelligence, Uncategorized

Spiritual Intelligence

I published Full Spectrum Intelligence exactly five years ago. Yesterday I purchased the rights to my book from the publishers. The plan is to substantially revise it, give it a new title, and publish it more widely. One of the main changes will be the chapter on spiritual intelligence.

This is the intelligence that stands apart from all the others, partly because it includes all the others, but also because there is no consensus on what spiritual intelligence is. After ranging across the literature, I found some work by Robert Emmon. He suggests that spiritual intelligence consists in four abilities:

The ability to transcend the physical and the material

The ability to experience heightened states of consciousness

The ability to sanctify everyday experience

The ability to utilise spiritual resources to solve problems

I like this very much, and will take the liberty of trying to capture its essence. I have found it helpful to view spiritual intelligence in terms of the “intelligence process”. As you may recall, this is the process all our behaviour seems to go through. First, we sense something – we become aware of it. Second, we make sense of it – we understand what it is. And third, we respond to what we have sensed and understood. We do something or say something. Thus, the three stages of the process are:

Awareness – or consciousness, if you prefer

Understanding – knowing what it is we have sensed

Response – doing or saying the appropriate thing (sometimes no response is the best response!)

With this in mind, I like to define spiritual intelligence as “the ability to go well beyond normal consciousness, well beyond normal understanding, and well beyond normal action”. The key, of course, is to know what it means to “go well beyond”. The new chapter in the revised book will go into some detail on this. Today I will simply give you a broad sense of what it means.

 

Beyond Normal Awareness

This is the ability to achieve unusual forms, and degrees, of consciousness, without the aid of drugs or other substances. Although this some times happens quickly, almost miraculously, that is extremely rare. In most cases, it involves work, over a long period. I don’t think that I am oversimplifying when I claim that unusual forms of consciousness fall into three broad categories – experience of bliss; experience of the paranormal; and experience of the non-physical. In my own experience, there can be considerable overlap between the three forms. More specifically, I noticed that when I was beginning to experience the non-physical aspects of the world, I felt much more peaceful and happier than ever before, and I also started to become telepathic (considered to be paranormal).

 

Beyond Normal Understanding

Although it is true that you get some deeper understanding of the nature of the world and the human being by reading carefully selected books, a much fuller understanding comes from direct experience. In other words, I think it best to go beyond normal consciousness before you venture too far into deeper understanding. That said, some of the books do help.

 

Beyond Normal Action

Just as the third stage of the intelligence process – response – follows from the first two stages, so the third component of spiritual intelligence flows naturally from the other two. It is only when you go well beyond normal consciousness and normal understanding that you are well placed to act accordingly. Your actions will reflect your deeper consciousness and deeper understanding.

 

Although it should be self-evident, perhaps it is worth stating that if you want to be spiritually intelligent, you first need to become intelligent in all other senses – physically, emotionally, intuitively, mentally, and socially.

human being, Intelligence, natural, simplicity, Uncategorized

It Hits the Spot

This morning I was reminded that there are times when not knowing is just as important as knowing. This may seem a strange thing to hear from someone who writes articles and books, hoping each time to advance human knowing just a little. The fact is that I have started to feel, more strongly than ever, that we need mystery in our lives, just as much as we need knowing and the knowledge that flows from this.

I realised this today, as I was driving to Alp. I had been listening to the Beethoven Piano Sonatas for the last couple of weeks, but suddenly felt like a change. I switched to a Schubert quartet that I like, but knew within a minute that it was not this that I wanted. Then it dawned on me – and I put on the Violin Partita No. 2 by Bach, arranged for piano by Busoni, and performed masterfully by Jorge Bolet at Carnegie Hall in 1974. It really hit the spot!

And this is my point – I have no idea why. It’s a complete mystery. And I want it to stay that way. I have no desire to investigate further.

I know from experience that the spot changes from time to time. For a while, decades ago, it was Listz’s Sonata in B Minor, played by Pascal Roge. And then one day the spot shifted unaccountably to the First Movement of Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto. On other parts of the music spectrum it has been Poetry in Motion (early 60s), Sultans of Swing, and now it is Raining Again by Supertramp.

I am sure these pieces could tell you a lot about me and about my state of being at the time. But I prefer not to know. The mystery is so much more interesting. I wonder where the spot will move to next!

human being, inner cosmos, the big questions, Uncategorized

The Very Big and the Very Small

Note to the reader: this is very much work in progress. These are all new thoughts. Please tell me where I might be mistaken and what you think is missing

 I am writing a book about the “inner cosmos”. It explores the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm, in line with the idea of “as above, so below”. It specifically looks at how this relationship affects us. Recently, I have begun to wonder whether science has its own version of “as above, so below”. I have done a lot of reading about this, and note that science has difficulty in connecting the very big with the very small. What do I mean by this? Scientists believe that the behaviour of the very big – galaxies, stars and planets – can be explained in terms of relativity. And they believe that the behaviour of the very small – atoms and particles – can be explained in terms of quantum physics. Despite many attempts over the last 100 years, scientists have been unable to connect relativity with quantum physics. For example, they cannot integrate gravity with the strong and weak nuclear forces. This remains one of the great quests in science.

I believe that scientists have been unsuccessful in this endeavour for one reason. They have not included us. They have focused their attention exclusively on the “outer, objective world”, and not taken account of the “inner subjective world”. They have not recognised that what seems to be “objective” can only ever be subjective. This is because the world “out there” is ultimately a product of the world “in here”. It is ultimately the world as seen through our eyes, from our human viewpoint.

Arguably, the defining characteristic of the very big is distance. The big things are distant from each other. Therefore, it takes time for things to happen. Time is clearly an important component of the very big. As you may know, relativity is all about the interplay of space and time. One form of this interplay is the bending of space-time in the presence of mass (such as planets and stars). Scientists have a name for this “warping” of space-time. They call it “gravity.” One of Einstein’s main contributions was to connect gravity with space and time.

In contrast, the defining characteristic of the very small is no distance! So, it takes no time for things to happen. This apparent absence of time is one of the central features of quantum physics, and it is one of the reasons why the behaviour of the very small seems weird.

Since it takes time for things to happen at the level of the very big, things appear to be disconnected, separate from each other. Conversely, since it takes no time for things to happen at the level of the very small, because distance is negligible, things happen instantaneously. Thus, things seem to be totally connected to each other. This “strange connectedness” is another important feature of quantum physics.

What I have just described implies “human relativity”. This probably needs a little explanation. Everything, from the very big to the very small, is relative to us. It is the world as perceived by us, as seen through human organs of perception, and from our human standpoint. It can be no other way. The big things are big and separate, only relative to us. The small things are small and connected, only relative to us. What the big and small things appear to be relative to themselves is quite another matter. Let us now explore this.

From its own viewpoint, the very large will seem to itself to have little distance between its parts, therefore little time. From its own perspective, the very large will appear to itself to be totally interconnected, just as, from our own perspective, our bodies seem to be totally interconnected. Separateness may be a uniquely human illusion. In any event, this suggests that, when seen from its own perspective, quantum physics may apply to the very big. This is because quantum physics is relevant to situations where time and separateness are not factors.

Similarly, from its own viewpoint the very small will seem to itself to be full of distance – atoms will be the equivalent of solar systems – therefore full of time. This suggests, does it not, that seen from its own perspective, relativity can be applied to the very small. This is because relativity is relevant to situations where space and time are present.

These are very early days in this exploration, so anything I say is very tentative. That said, one of the possible implications of “the theory of human relativity” is that, at the level of the very small, the nuclear forces within the atom my be the microcosmic equivalent of gravity. I say this because it was Einstein’s genius to make the connection between gravity and space-time. Now, if space and time are actually present at the level of the very small, albeit on a scale well below our normal perception, then there are likely to forces related to this microcosmic space-time. What we currently call the “nuclear forces” could equally well be called “micro-gravity”.

consciousness, human being, inner cosmos, Intelligence, Uncategorized

Revisiting the Non-Physical

Today I would like to try to make a connection between three things – the non-physical, the inner cosmos, and your “inner senses”. This is the first time I have thought and written about this, so please bear with me.

The “non-physical” can be defined simply as that which can never be perceptible by the physical. This means that the non-physical aspects of the world and the human being are those aspects that can never be perceived by our five physical senses, even when they are aided by “extensions”, such as microscopes, telescopes, or any other scientific instrument. It is because scientists view the world and the human being exclusively through the physical “lens” that they insist that everything is physical. For science, the non-physical does not exist.

As a consequence, when scientists explore “levels” higher than us in the universe – such as planets and stars – they see only their lower level aspects. They see only levels below us in the holarchy that is the Cosmos – i.e. molecules, atoms and particles. So, they believe that stars and planets consist only of lower level aspects, and nothing else. This is why the world as described by science is the world seen in terms of particles and waves (physics); atoms, elements and molecules (chemistry); giant molecules and cells (biochemistry); tissues and organs (anatomy and medicine), and so on. When scientists study levels higher than us in the holarchy, they see only their physical aspects.

If you have followed me so far, you are probably wondering what the “non-physical” looks like. What is it that scientists are missing? What follows is merely a general outline, based on my own experience of awakening and training my “inner senses”, but also based on accounts of people I trust. Since this is not the moment to go into detail, I will just summarise briefly. My own experience, in 50 years of doing this, as well the accounts I trust, suggest that the non-physical has five main characteristics:

    Orders of intelligence beyond anything you can imagine. Just to be clear, I am not speaking here about intellect. That said, I believe that when we gain access to some of this intelligence, by working on our inner cosmos, we will be able to create technology that we can barely imagine. From what little I have experienced of this immense intelligence, I am sure that this will enable us to counteract gravity, transcend the apparent limits of space-time, and provide power and transport without recourse to fossil fuels and nuclear energy

    Total interconnectedness – everything is connected to everything else. And I mean thoughts, lifetimes, feelings…things like that. You have the certain feeling that the whole universe is a single, unified entity, in which all the parts are intimately connected to each other

    Higher orders of meaning and purpose – for instance, each planet and every star has its own unique meaning, which is always part of a “nest” of greater meanings. In the simplest terms, the universe has a reason to exist, and so do we!

    Higher beings – I cannot think of a better term. Although these are not beings in the sense of persons, they all have their own distinct and unique personality

    Higher orders of consciousness – you soon realise that what you are connecting with is very aware that you are connecting! Difficult as it is to believe, planets and stars are conscious, but it is consciousness of a different order, and only hinted at by the levels of consciousness sometimes attained by initiates and mystics

Now, I am acutely aware that I gone through this at speed. At this point I simply wish to give you a very general overview. I will go into more detail on another occasion. The point I want to make today is that these five characteristics of the non-physical are strikingly similar to how I experience the “essential natures” of higher levels than us. In other words, they are similar to the inner cosmos. To give just one example, when I get in touch with the essential nature of planet Earth, all of the five characteristics are evident. And this is repeated up the scale, so to speak. However, and this is crucially important to know, as we go up the scale and ascend the levels of the Cosmos, each of the five characteristics deepens in quality. I will have more to say about this deepening in a subsequent article.

global change, human being, Intelligence, Uncategorized

The Shortest Era

You will know that the history of our home planet is divided into “eras”, such as the Precambrian and the Palaeozoic. They are very long – millions of years. As it happens, the mainstream media (e.g. the Guardian two days ago) has just woken up to the fact that some people have been talking about the most recent era for many years. It is called the Anthropocene Era, reflecting the fact that the human species now seems to be dominant on this planet. Although there is no general agreement about its commencement – some date it from the beginning of agriculture 15,000 years ago, while others like to believe it started with the first test of an atomic bomb in 1945 – one thing does seem clear, this era is unlikely to last long. I say this simply because we do not deserve to dominate. Our domination will soon be revealed for what it is – false, and therefore transitory.

Having laid my cards on the table, one could easily imagine a species that did deserve to be dominant. Above all, that species would be intelligent, in the sense that it would behave wisely and well. For instance, it would not overpopulate. It would not degrade the natural environment (all this planet’s life-support systems are in serious decline). It would not preside over an unprecedented extinction of species. It would not destroy its own members on an industrial scale (just think 20th Century!). And it would ensure that none of its members had too little because a few had far too much. I hardly need add that none of the above can be said about our own human species.

Of course, it need not be this way. As a species, we clearly have the potential to behave wisely and well. The very obvious problem is that there is an immense gap between our potential and our actual behaviour, and this gap is not closing quickly enough (if it is closing at all) to avert dangerous climate change, serious damage to our life-support systems, nor the terminal social breakdown that will inevitably follow huge inequalities.

Until quite recently I believed that we would become a truly intelligent species, and avert catastrophe. I now believe that any change for the better will be too little and too late. End of Anthropocene!

being natural, human being, natural, simplicity, Taoist, Uncategorized

A Unique Contribution

Advised by good people, I am hearing two main schools of thought – “give them what they want” and “just do your own thing”. Needless to say, I have tried to reconcile the two. I have tried to do my own thing – offer my unique contribution – in ways that people seem to want. I don’t think I have been successful in this. So, I have decided to focus solely on writing and broadcasting my unique contribution. If some people want this and find it useful, then that is a bonus.

Confusingly, my unique contribution seems to be a mixture of things. Yet, perhaps this is the key. Perhaps it is the mixture that is unique, rather than the individual ingredients. What follows is me thinking aloud.

At the heart of my thinking are three core ideas: we are spiritual beings; we inhabit a spiritual universe; and we and the universe are mirror images of each other. Everything I write about – spiritual wealth, being natural, the New Economics, an expanded science, the “inner senses”, unusual abilities, intelligent simplicity, being a 21st Century Taoist – all of this can be traced back eventually to the three core ideas. But I suppose I need to explain what I mean by “spiritual”.

For me, “spiritual” means “transcending the physical”. If this feels disappointing, it is only because I do not wish to give the word “spiritual” more meaning than it needs to have. For example, I do not want to suggest that spiritual means “good” or “highly evolved” or anything like that. While it is true that these qualities may follow from being a spiritual being, they are not the essence, The essence is, as I said, that it transcends the physical. I suppose that this, too, needs a little explanation.

Although many people seem to confuse “physical” with “material”, it simply means that which is accessible to one of more of our five physical senses (hearing, sight etc.), and to extensions to these senses. So, although we cannot see all the moons of Saturn or a bacterium with the naked eye, we can see them with a telescope or microscope respectively. Similarly, although we cannot hear anything beyond the range of 20 – 20000 Hertz with the unaided ear, we can detect sound well outside this spectrum with sensitive instruments, which are, in effect, extensions to our ears. And so it is for each of our five senses. Scientific instruments enable us to experience much more of the physical world than we would normally experience with our unaided five senses. As I have written elsewhere, science officially believes that the universe is wholly physical, that there can be nothing apart from the physical. Although an increasing number of individual scientists believe otherwise, science as a whole does not accept that the “spiritual” (i.e. beyond the physical) is real. And, just to complete the circle, science believes that the universe is physical, and only physical, because it uses only the physical mode of perception to explore the world. The world responds accordingly, by giving the mistaken impression that it is wholly physical.

Perhaps, then, I should have said that at the heart of all my thinking and beliefs is my own personal experience that we human beings need not be limited to the physical mode of perception. We have other senses (I call them “inner senses”) that enable to perceive and experience the non-physical aspects of the world and ourselves. Although these inner senses are dormant in most people, they can be awakened and trained to the point where they are just as useful as our familiar physical senses. When this happens, the world and the human being look very different. Because they transcend the physical, they look spiritual!

More to come!